Submitted by: Dr. Scott Reader, DMD, PA, Your Hometown Dentist, One Senior Place Resident Business

Do you know the ugly truth about your toothbrush?  The real truth is it’s nastier than most people think, as it harbors more than 100 million bacteria, including E. coli bacteria.  In turn, E. coli can cause diarrhea and staph bacteria that cause skin infections.

There are hundreds of microorganisms in our mouth every day.  It’s important to remember that plaque on your teeth is bacteria, which is why it is so important to have it removed by a dental professional.

It is highly unlikely that a toothbrush can make you sick while using it for brushing your teeth.  There is no real evidence that a toothbrush sitting in the bathroom in its holder causes infection.  However, it is extremely important that people don’t brush where they flush.    Most homes have small bathrooms and the toilet is pretty close to the sink.  You don’t store your plates and glasses by the toilet, so why would you want to keep your toothbrush there?

Always rinse your toothbrush after each use and keep it dry.  Toothbrush covers tend to keep the moisture in, which produces bacteria.  Also store your toothbrush upright, not lying down.  Never share a toothbrush with anyone as you will swap germs.

Toothbrush sanitizers do kill most bacteria on the toothbrush, but that is no guarantee that you won’t still get sick.  Some information exists that by putting your toothbrush in the microwave, oven or dishwasher, helps to kill germs on it.  This may be true, but it can also damage the toothbrush in the process.  The best thing to do is just throw it away, and get a new one.

It’s time to toss your toothbrush on a regular basis.  According to the American Dental Association toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months.  When the bristles become frayed, a person is sick, or you have a weak immune system, throwing the toothbrush away even more often is recommended.

Bacteria are what causes bad breath, so brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth with anti-bacterial mouthwash can help reduce plaque-causing bacteria.

 

Dr. Scott Reader is a family and cosmetic dentist, specializing in Lumineers and the revolutionary Snap-On Smile.  His office is located at 7185 Murrell Road in Viera.  All seniors may schedule for a complimentary consultation by calling the office at 321-253-9588 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reader.

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